There’s no money for a border wall. There’s no money to provide the American military with all the resources it needs.
But there are millions of dollars for mangos.
Thanks to a fee collected from mango importers by Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection, the National Mango Board has an annual budget of $6.7 million and a mission to “increase awareness and consumption of fresh mangos in the U.S.”
This is not to be confused with the NMB’s “vision” to “bring the world’s love of mangos to the U.S.”
The NMB, based in Orlando, Florida, has three core programs, including Marketing, Research, and Communications. Marketing helps promote the importance of mangos to the American consumer, including by “providing great recipes.” Research helps “the entire mango supply chain deliver a quality program to the U.S. consumer.” And Communications “reaches out to the mango industry” to share resources and learn “what the industry needs.”
As Judicial Watch chronicles, the board offers “information on nutrition, history and ‘fun facts,’ including the legend ‘that Buddha meditated under the cool shade of a mango tree.'”
There are also academic studies on “consumer attitudes, bioactive components of mangos and the effect of hot water treatment on a Mexican specie (Tommy Atkins) vulnerable to fruit flies.”
The NMB also offers, among other information, answers to frequently asked questions about mangos, including “Can you eat mangos if you are diabetic?” and “Can I eat the skin on a mango?”
The board is staffed by a diverse array of those who are involved in mango production, including eight importers, two domestic producers, one first handler, and seven foreign producers.
Such a mission may seem relatively unimportant or not part of the federal government’s purview. But the members of the NMB are appointed by the secretary of Agriculture himself. The NMB was also specifically authorized by Congress 18 years ago in the “Mango Promotion, Research, and Information Order; Referendum Order.”
And Secretary Sonny Purdue takes his mango responsibilities seriously.
He recently appointed six new members to the board, including foreign mango producers from Mexico and Peru.
“I truly appreciate the time and expertise that these individuals have agreed to give guidance [to] the National Mango Board in its mission to find ways to provide fresh mangos to U.S. consumers and help their industry thrive,” Purdue said.
You can find out more about mangos and the National Mango Board at http://www.mango.org